Thanks in part to a few retro-minded rockers from NYC and some bearded music nerds from Norway, disco is far from the dirty word that it once was. Disco is fun, sophisticated and has a decades-long proven track record for making people of all ages and creeds sweaty on the dancefloor. While some of those taking part in the revival are busy either glamming it up with a hipster sheen or stroking their chins and debating the sonic qualities of the latest exclusive vinyl-only re-edit, there is the unabashed party vibe of Brooklyn's very own Escort to set everyone straight.
The brainchild of disco fanatics Dan Balis, Eugene Cho and Darius Maghen, Escort formed in 2005 to take a love of the classic live dance sound to the 21st century. The trio writes music, and then enlists a massive crew of musicians to record live in the studio. A smidgen of modern knob twiddling gives the tunes a bit more punch, but a decidedly vintage production quality remains. Later, they take their music out on the road to perform on any stage that will accommodate a performance featuring up to fourteen members. One big introduction to many in their native New York was at the P.S.1 Warm Up party last summer. Imagine on stage two sexy singers, two percussionists, a drummer, guitarist, bass, keyboard, three part horn section, a two-part string section and you're starting to get the idea.
The first release on their self-titled label, last year's Starlight is a perfect example of what this talented group is trying to achieve. Their subsequent three releases, along with remixes for Everything But The Girl's Tracey Thorn and Germany's Permanent Vacation label, are further solidifying the group as one to turn to for disco done right. In simply trying to recreate the good vibes of days gone past, those times before the rampant commercialization of the sound in the late '70s, Escort has managed to revive a feeling that is universal in its ability to make people smile and move their feet. Now, if only we could find more stages for them to play on, we would have disco converts truly running rampant.
Visit the band's website, or their Myspace page. Head on over to Traxsource or to the iTunes music store to download their music. If you're still a fan of the classic vinyl, head to Juno Records to buy their records. Then, proceed to dance your heart out in your living room. If you are in the NYC area, you'll be able to catch Escort at P.S.1's Warm Up again this year, on Saturday, 25 August 2007. Do not miss it.
by Jesse Mann